A common newsgroup question is how to prevent the Template Help task pane from appearing every time a document is opened. Not only do we see lots of newsgroup posts about this, it turns out that one of the more common pieces of feedback we receive through Rate this Template is “Let me disable this task pane”.
Here are the steps to disable automatically showing the task pane:
1) Go to Tools > Options in the menu
2) Click on the General tab and choose Service Options at the bottom
3) Select the Online Content category and uncheck “Show Template Help automatically…”
The task pane is intended to help people learn more about various diagram types. Unfortunately the design tends to focus on the initial usage experience (having the template help in your face) at the expense of ongoing productivity (having lots of drawing space). Perhaps the biggest problem is that there is no place on the task pane itself to disable the automatic behavior.
The good news is that there is no Template Help task pane in Visio 2007. There is a link to template help at the bottom of the Getting Started screen. It is grouped with all the other content available from Office Online. Hopefully this is a better location both for those that want to find template help and those that do not want to be bothered by template help.